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Thread: Scotland, the Land of Lochs - 5 days of motorcycling bliss covering 3600 kms

  1. #1
    Rusted Doga's Avatar
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    Default Scotland, the Land of Lochs - 5 days of motorcycling bliss covering 3600 kms

    This was my first proper long tour on a motorcycle and looking back now, it was one amazing ride!
    This was done in late summer and was almost a coast to coast ride- From Bournemouth in the south west coast of England to the highlands in the north of Scotland. The northern most point of mainland UK is John O' Groats in the highlands of Scotland and I was within 150 miles of it, but frankly this ride was not about setting records or for I- was-there-photos, it was done just for fun!
    The memories of riding on those awesome roads to the Isle of Skye and the spectacular scenery will forever remain etched in my mind. Here are some 'teaser' pics to keep people interested before I complete the write up

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  2. #2
    Moderator The Monk's Avatar
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    Default Re: Scotland, the Land of Lochs - 5 days of motorcycling bliss covering 3600 kms

    Travelogue Approved

    Those pictures are fabulous. Waiting for you to complete the write-up now
    Biking is not about what you have between your legs, its all about how well you use it!!!!!!!

    Give your details here if you want to help your fellow xBhpian stranded in your city

    Touring Blog: Cycling in Mongolia!

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    Keyboard Warrior chaosaddict's Avatar
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    Default Re: Scotland, the Land of Lochs - 5 days of motorcycling bliss covering 3600 kms

    Wow, Doga. What more than this gem of a post on first day of corporate a$$-licking in 2017?!
    Thanks man! Looking forward to the rest.
    BENEATH THE REMAINS.........
    Instagram - chaosaddict666 (follow for atypical uploads on heavy metal, bikes, alcohol, chakna, life, fashion yada, yada)
    YouTube - chaosaddict666 (Disclaimer: crappiest uploads ever, viewer discretion is advised)

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    Rusted Doga's Avatar
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    Default Re: Scotland, the Land of Lochs - 5 days of motorcycling bliss covering 3600 kms

    Quote Originally Posted by The Monk View Post
    Travelogue Approved

    Those pictures are fabulous. Waiting for you to complete the write-up now
    Thanks Monk for the quick approval.

    Quote Originally Posted by chaosaddict View Post
    Wow, Doga. What more than this gem of a post on first day of corporate a$$-licking in 2017?!
    Thanks man! Looking forward to the rest.
    Hahah. Thanks chaosaddict. My first day of corporate a$$ licking starts tomorrow

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    Moderator Divya Sharan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Scotland, the Land of Lochs - 5 days of motorcycling bliss covering 3600 kms

    Fascinating! Please continue dada.

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    Rusted akshay's Avatar
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    Default Re: Scotland, the Land of Lochs - 5 days of motorcycling bliss covering 3600 kms

    Scotland is picture-card perfect with amazing roads to boot. Lucky you and awaiting the rest
    Ride To Live

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    Rusted sajalsheth's Avatar
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    Default Re: Scotland, the Land of Lochs - 5 days of motorcycling bliss covering 3600 kms

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    Nice Pictures @Doga ji

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    Default Re: Scotland, the Land of Lochs - 5 days of motorcycling bliss covering 3600 kms

    The bike should have been superb just like the country...Expecting more..

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    Default Re: Scotland, the Land of Lochs - 5 days of motorcycling bliss covering 3600 kms

    Cool one @Doga
    Waiting for more bro.!!

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    Rusted Doga's Avatar
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    Default Re: Scotland, the Land of Lochs - 5 days of motorcycling bliss covering 3600 kms

    I have truely had no time for anything other than working, eating and sleeping for the past few days guys, hence the delay!


    Scotland up north in the UK is one of its most beautiful places. Indeed, when the weather is right, it can give switzerland a run for its money.
    I read that somewhere btw-I haven't been to switzerland yet
    This was my second trip to scotland and I'd say the novelty factor had worn a bit. Make no mistake, it was no less stunning this time, but I clearly remember almost gasping for breath, such was the effect of the beautiful landscapes the first time I was there.
    May be because I haven't really been up north in India in the mountains after growing up and whatever memory I have of the tours done with my parents in childhood, they are not really clear.


    The previous tour to Scotland was the first proper tour done with the wife in the UK and it was amazing.We had a gala time.But the one thought which kept crawling in my mind,especially on the way to the highlands from Inverness, no matter how hard I tried to ignore it was -

    'How awesome it'd be riding on these roads here on a motorcycle'.

    Think about it. Some of the most breathtaking scenery I had ever seen, decently surfaced winding roads, (almost)no speed cameras and the sight of dudes
    twisting in and leaning out of their motorcycles on the way while I was sat on the tour bus.There was no way I could ignore that thought could I? It's not that I didn't think of it before heading out to Scotland. I was based in London then and it's one of the last
    places in the UK one should have a motorcycle in, really! Traffic and theft. You can't dodge both there. So I didn't have a bike back then. I did enquire around for rentals despite sky high rates(cheapest for a decent 600 was 120 pounds per day), but soon found
    out that motorcycle rental on a non European foreign license is not as easy as a car hire! So had dropped the idea then.
    I surmised that I'd still be here next year and I'd have a motorcycle surely, so this would be done next year. And I was right. My in laws came visiting and I soon realized this was a blessing in disguise.The wife being busy with her parents, the leash was not as tight as usual and I did get some more solo bike time. But a solo ride to scotland would never have been allowed. So when she said we needed to take her parents to Scotland on a tour, I quickly hatched a plot!


    'Yes of course we'd go, but you take the parents with you,I'd ride up and join you there '


    To my surprise, there was no vehement opposition, no barbs of 'you are selfish', no silent treatment for a week. The plan was approved smoothly ,in complete contrast to other times! It was like a bill to hike MP salaries is passed in the parliament compared to let's
    say a bill to ease business norms lol.It was unbelievable and I was on cloud nine.


    So it was decided. They'd take the flight from London to Edinburgh and I'd take the bike from Bournemouth to Edinburgh.
    Now scotland has many places worth visiting. In fact all of it is pretty and none would be disappointed no matter where he goes. But two places are most popular. Edinburgh which is the cultural capital of Scotland(Glasgow is the official capital and financial hub as well)
    and is perhaps the 2nd most visited city after London in the UK and the Highlands up north. The highlands is basically the area which starts at town of Inverness which is called the capital of the Highlands.
    The highlands is mostly wilderness and full of mountain ranges, lochs(lakes) and is stunningly beautiful. This part of scotland has a mythical air to it what with tales of monsters and castles and fighting clans and warring lords.
    With good roads, the highlands, at least in the summer, is a biker's paradise.


    Here is how the itinerary looked-
    Day 1- Bournemouth - Edinburgh
    Day 2- Edinburgh
    Day 3- Edinburgh - Inverness
    Day 4- Inverness - Isle of Skye - Inverness
    Day 5- Inverness - Applecross - Inverness
    Day 6- Inverness - Bournemouth




    Day 1- Bournemouth - Edinburgh

    Distance covered-600 miles

    This was almost 500 miles as per google which is roughly 800km and I knew that google always underestimates the journey distance and time. The previous most miles in a day for me was 600km when I went on the kaas tour, so this was a bit intimidating to me.
    I hadn't taken the CBR on long rides and it had a problem as well. The downpipes had to be changed recently as the previous headers were leaking. I had decided to replace it myself and in the process ended up with 2 snapped studs!
    So had to get a 'jugaad' done at the garage as a proper solution would have been dropping the engine and taking it to a machine shop for removing the snapped studs from the head which would have cost me anything from 500-800 Pounds.
    Now the jugaad cost me 100 Pounds, but I was told it was not a permanent solution and the new headers may start leaking again at the exhaust port!
    This would have been a problem if it were toi happen on the tour, but throwing caution to the wind, I decided to still decided to ride. After all, I would not get an opportunity to ride in Scotland and what the hell I thought, I have always been a 'we'll see' guy
    I put the fairings back on the bike the previous night and bid wife and her parents good bye in the morning. They'd take the bus to London and then the flight from there.
    All set, I set off with my tankbag and bundles of nerves.
    I had planned to take the M27-M3-M40 route to the M6 and then just be on it till Glasgow from where I'd then head to the east and reach Edinburgh.
    The M designation is for motorways in the UK. These are the equivalent of expressways or 3-4 lane highways in India and connect major cities and counties These are the best kept roads in the UK given the importance and usage. They are fast but boring. Miles and miles of smooth almost straight tar.
    I couldn't take the more interesting A or B roads as I had to reach Edinburgh the same day and join with my wife for dinner. So it was really a plane vs bike race there!
    I was using here maps on my phone on a Ram mount for sat nav, but didn't have a battery charger, so soon, despite my best efforts, ran out of charge.I had lost my way a bit near Birmingham which didn't help either. This was near stafford in Wolverhampton
    where I met this very helpful Sardarji who owned an off license convenience store and gladly let me charge my phone in his shop and use the loo.

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    With the battery replenished and after filling the tank to the brim, I joined M6 again and was making good pace and from there on it was pretty much the same boring roads till I reached Yorkshire, where the scenery started changing dramatically.
    The Yorkshire Dales is an upland area of rolling meadows and from what I saw, it definitely is a must vist-some time this year may be?
    From there on it was a scenic ride and even though the sun sets very late in the summer, by the time I entered Scotland, it was getting dark.So I changed my plans a bit to avoid the lorry traffic from Glasgow to Edinburg and branched off from the M74(extension of M6)
    and joined the A702 to Edinburgh. Now it was well and truely dark and this road was almost deserted. The motorway had cars and lorries to give you company and help light the road up, but this road was totally deserted with no lights and made it's way to Edinburgh through small
    villages and towns which were all sleepy when I crossed them! It was a winding road and the total darkness with only the cat eyes to help you called for full attention at all times.
    I entered Edinburgh at around 12:00 am in the night and the in laws had obviously went to sleep by then. Wife received me at the gate of the accommodation and said-


    "See told you, you cannot beat the plane!"


    I was too tired to react, had a quick dinner and hit the sac.




    Day 2- Edinburgh

    By the time I woke up the next day, it was almost evening. Wife was out with her parents showing around and I joined them later.
    Edinburgh is a pretty city and the Fringe festival was going on when we were there.The atmosphere was lively with the streets failry crowded in the night.

    Some pics from Edinburgh-


    These 4 pictures below are from the Edinburgh museum. It's right up there with the British Museum in London. Some of the stuff displayed are jaw dropping. Conscious that museums don't exactly make the top of must see lists of most here, so keeping it short

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    These pictures are from the most famous street in Edinburgh- Princess Street. It is lined on one side with big wooden benches donated by members of the public in remembrance of their departed loved ones. You can sit there for ours watching the Trams or just turn around to soak in the lovely views of the Edinburgh castle on the hill top. Very beautiful.


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    Edinburgh has two parts- New town and the Old town. The old town is, well, old and is very pretty.
    Cobbled streets, gothic structures, medieval architecture, it looks beautiful, especially at night.
    The stretch of cobbled street which courses through most of the old town is called the Royal Mile and this is
    where you need to go for a leisurely stroll in the evening


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    I clearly remember wanting to eat here, but could not.

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    We went on this ghost tour of the city, mostly through the old town area which has many haunted places.
    It was presented in a fun way and was more funny than spooky.


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    We were taken inside an actual cemetery on a 'tour' which is supposed to be the most haunted in Edinburgh
    with many reports and sightings of a ghost. Nope didn't see it

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    Think the 'necroman' is more scared sitting next to the wife, not the other way round!

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    There was this Museum on the mound which was dedicated to the history of currency of Scotland.
    What's with girls and money eh?

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    These pictures below are from the Holyrood Park area of Edinburgh, where the Palace of Holyroodhouse is located
    which is the Queen's official residence in Scotland.
    You can also see the Scottish parliament here. Another attraction is the Arthur's seat which is a hillock in the Holyrood park greens.
    You can get expansive, bird's eye view of the entire city and can see as far as the open sea from there.

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    Some more pics below. The ones with greenery are from the Royal Botanical Garden which has many rare exotic trees and shrubbery- not bad at all.

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    Just realized, there aren't any bike photos. Well I didn't fancy riding around in the city, especially after riding for close to 12 hours
    and a city like Edinburgh is best explored on foot/public transport. Also you can't really stop by the side of the motorway to take pictures-it's illegal.
    All my pit stops were at petrol pumps and of course I didn't click photos there.
    Last edited by Doga; 01-15-2017 at 08:49 PM. Reason: sorted photos and added description

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